Former Australian PM Scott Morrison to address Oxford Union

Scott Morrison, the former Prime Minister of Australia, will address the Oxford Union on Thursday 15 June at 5pm. He will give a talk before answering questions from the audience.

Union President Matthew Dick told The Oxford Student, “I am really excited to be bringing the members another brilliant opportunity to hear from and question a former leader of a commonwealth state. It’s a brilliant way to end the term.”

Morrison, the current MP for Cook in New South Wales, is missing a week of parliament for a privately-funded trip to the UK which, in addition to his Union visit, will include a luncheon with the UK Policy Exchange think tank. He will also attend an event celebrating the 40th anniversary of the International Democrat Union, an alliance of centre-right political parties from around the world.

The former Prime Minister is also expected to receive briefings from UK government officials in relation to a security pact he previously signed with Boris Johnson and Joe Biden.

The International Democrat Union is paying for Morrison’s flights and accommodation, while the UK government assisted with the trip’s arrangements through Stephen Smith, the High Commissioner of Australia to the UK.

Morrison served as the country’s 30th prime minister from 2018 to 2022 as leader of the Liberal Party. Known for his strong conservative values, he steered Australia through a series of challenges including bushfires, the COVID-19 pandemic, and Australia’s subsequent economic recovery.

His tenure was also characterised by a bold foreign policy, with the signing of the AUKUS security pact with the United States and United Kingdom increasing tension with China.

Morrison stated that “as a founder and architect of the AUKUS agreement I will continue to do all I can to support its success and continue to promote the strong bipartisan support that exists for AUKUS” on the trip.

Speculation regarding Morrison’s retirement from parliament has been rampant since he left office, and he has reportedly been propositioned to join a major UK defence company after departing politics.

Morrison was criticised during his premiership for his response to numerous allegations of sexual misconduct within the Australian Parliament in 2021 and the lack of support his government provided to victims of flooding in eastern Australia in 2022.